Heritage Open Days September 12th-15th

Thanks to Aidan Turner-Bishop, Co-ordinator of the NW Branch of the Twentieth Century Society who gets counted as a guest blogger as he very usefully compiled the following list of places of interest to C20 enthusiasts.  More can be found on the Heritage Open Days website.  For those of you based in London I recommend looking at the Love London Council Housing blog for some other great suggestions.  Also make sure you look up the upcoming events organised by the C20 North West Group.


Kurt Schwitters’ Merz Barn site, Elterwater, Ambleside, Cumbria (open all four days from 10am to 5pm. www.merzbarn.net )

The old barn where the German artist Kurt Schwitters worked on his final great artwork in 1947, called The Merz Barn. The work itself is now in the Hatton Gallery in Newcastle, to which it was removed in 1965 to preserve it, but the barn is set in a very beautiful part of the Langdale Valley, and has become a place of pilgrimage for all those interested in Dada and Modernist art. Everyone is made welcome, and if they wish given a short verbal introduction to the life and work of Kurt Schwitters, and the background to refugee artists from Germany during WW2. There are also display boards, and an accompanying exhibition in the near-by Shippon Gallery. The main charm of the site is its seclusion, and many people enjoy it just for this.

  • Thursday 12th September: 1000-1700
  • Friday 13th September: 1000-1700
  • Saturday 14th September: 1000-1700
  • Sunday 15th September: 1000-1700

– See more at: http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/the-merz-barn-open-days#sthash.bgkZJYNC.dpuf

The Waste [processing] Experience, Bolton (Friday Sept 13): max 17 people per tour.

Chorlton-cum-Hardy EcoShowhome, 3 The Thorns, Chorltonville (open Fri-Sun 11am – 5pm) . See how an arts & crafts house has been thoroughly eco-ed over.www.ecospheric.co.uk

St Nicholas church, Kingsway, Burnage (N F Cachemaille Day, 1932) with 2002 intervention by Tony Grimshaw) This Grade II* listed building was the first church designed by architect, Nugent Francis Cachemaille Day, and was opened in 1932. Between 2000 and 2002 a major refurbishment and remodelling project changed the internal layout whilst retaining the exterior as originally designed. Video presentation of St Nicholas Church past, present and future plus display of photographs.Visitors’ guides, cards, books for sale and Fair Trade stand. (Open Sat-Sun 1030-1600 /4pm)

All Saints’ and Martyrs’ church, Langley, MiddletonConsecrated in 1964, All Saints & Martyrs is home to the ‘Langley Cross’. This unique sculpture is the work of the internationally renowned artist, Geoffrey Clarke RA. Cast in aluminium, this rugged structure stands 37 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Clarke’s cross portrays the brutality of the ancient Roman practice of crucifixion, yet at the same time seems to interpret this in a more modern context, as the shape of a rifle can clearly be seen within the design. There are many other levels of Christian symbolism which individuals have perceived when contemplating on the cross. The organ is a traditional pipe instrument, built in 1964 in the most modern fashion of the time by the well-reputed firm of Rushworth & Dreaper of Liverpool. (Open Fri-Sat 12-4/Sun 2-4)

Regal Moon pub and former 1930s cinema, The Butts, Rochdale (Prebooked tours 12-14 Sept: 11.30 and 1400)

St John the Baptist RC Church, Dowling St, Rochdale (next to Rochdale Station Metrolink stop) The sanctuary mosaic cost four thousand pounds and was designed by Eric Newton, son of Lehmann Oppenheimer and Edith Newton, and was completed on 31st October 1933. The central figure being that of Christ the King, a feast day established by Pope Pius XI, his Papal Coat of Arms and the Coat of Arms of Bishop Henshaw are on the side walls. We have extensive informtaion leading back to when the Church was first built with photos of previous clergy, parishioners and much more.

  • Thursday 12th September: 1000-1600; Service 1200
  • Friday 13th September: 1000-1600; Service 1200
  • Saturday 14th September: 1000-1830; Service 1200; Evening vigil 1730
  • Sunday 15th September: 0900-1500; Service 0930

Tin Tabernacle, Eleventh Street, Trafford Park  St Antony of Padua Church was built to serve the residents of the newly built Westinghouse Village in 1904. The church has a corrugated iron structure which it maintains although it was reclad in 1994. It is one of the last remaining ‘Tin Tabernacle’ Churches in the UK. The church closed in 2009 however much interest remains despite there being no residential area nearby. As part of Heritage Open Days, we will be opening the doors of our church and inviting people to come and view our hidden gem. (Open Fri 13, 10-4/ Sun 15, 10-2pm)

Cunard Building, Pier Head, Liverpool . The Cunard Building was the last of the iconic ‘Three Graces’ to be developed with construction of the building commencing in 1914 and completed by 1917. The Cunard Steamship Company commissioned Willink & Thicknesse to design a new central headquarters. The architects used marble imported from Attica, Carrara and Arni Alto in Italy to create Italianate and Greek Revival detail, in the style of an Italian palazzo.  (Bookable tour  on Saturday 14th September at 10am).

Ropewalks regeneration, Campbell Square, Liverpool. Prebooked guided walks:

  • Thursday 12th September: Tours 1030 & 1430
  • Friday 13th September: Tours 1030 & 1430
  • Saturday 14th September: Tour 1030

Royal Court theatre, Roe Street, Liverpool. 1930s art deco. Bookable behind-the -scenes tours at

  • Thursday 12th September: Tour and exhibition: 1100 & 1400
  • Friday 13th September: Tour and exhibition: 1100 & 1400

St Christopher’s church, Lorenzo Drive, Norris Green. 1930s  art deco by Bernard Miller:  Grade II listed church  will be open for visitors to look around the ‘Children’s Church’ and view the art deco interior, including sculptures of children.  The funds were raised mainly by local children (allegedly).

  • Saturday 14th September: 1100-1500
  • Sunday 15th September: 1000-1600

Wirral Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey  Bookable tours Friday 13,  2-4pm

Blackpool Illuminations depot, Amy Johnson Way, Blackpool. Thursday 12th September: Tours 1800-1930 & 2000-2130

Funny Girls, 5 Dickson Road, Blackpool (former Odeon cinema, now a burlesque theatre). Bookable tours at

  • Thursday 12th September: Tour 1100-1200
  • Friday 13th September: Tour 1100-1200

Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Whinney Heys Rd, Blackpool (F X Velarde, 1955-7) Sunday Sept 15, 11 -4pm

Ruskin Library, Lancaster University  Thurs-Fri 12-13, 10-4pm

Morecambe Town Hall, 1932 grade 2 listed. I hear that it contains much of its original furniture. Guided tour, Sunday Sept 15 at 2.30pm

Padiham Town Hall (Bradshaw Gass & Hope’s attempt at Scandinavian moderne, 1938).

  • Friday 13th September: 1030 & 1430
  • Saturday 14th September: 1030

Lancashire County Council’s County Hall, Fishergate Hill, Preston. 1930s municipal moderne.  Saturday 14th September: 1000-1300 Tours 1000, 1030, 1100, 1130, 1200 & 1230


Cheshire West & Chester Council HQ, Chester. Cylindrical black glass Lubyanka-style. One bookable 20 minute tour on Thursday Sept 12. Maximum of 20 only.

Booking Contact: Elaine Pierce Jones
Call: 01244 972210
Booking opens: 13 August 2013 10:30
Booking closes: 10 September 2013 16:30 – See more at: http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory/cheshire-west-chester-hq#sthash.7o8b9YE1.dpuf

Chester Odeon cinema (Robert Bullivant, 1936 )  being converted from former cinema to theatre, arts centre & library. Tours at

  • Friday 13th September: Tours 1000 & 1400 & 1700
  • Saturday 14th September: Tours 1000 & 1200 & 1400
  • Sunday 15th September: Tours 1000 & 1200 & 1400

Hooton Park hangars Ellesmere Port.  Three 1917 Belfast truss hangars used as transport museum etc. Charmingly scruffy and grungy.

  • Saturday 14th September: 1000-1600 Tours 1100 & 1400
  • Sunday 15th September: 1000-1600 Tours 1100 & 1400

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